Alcohol as an antidepressant

I think in some ways it works for me. Throughout most of the day I’m a timid, quiet young man afraid to speak up in case I get ridiculed. I have constant worries, doubts, insecurities, and generally overanalyze everything. It can be a real drag to be sober all the time.

When I drink though, I loosen up and in a lot of ways don’t give a fuck about the stupid shit I worry about. I’m outgoing, which leads to me being more conversational and generally just more fun. This type of behavior is shared with others as well, which translates into better relationships the following day. I mean how many great stories do people share when they were both heavily under the influence?

Even when you’re feeling down, how many use alcohol to “drown” their sorrows. Sure, some problems may not actually go away but at least for a while your mind gets a break.

Now I’m not trying to promote alcoholism or anything, and I can see how you could disagree, but I really feel that a fun, alcohol-filled night with friends can be one of the most beneficial experiences a person has. It can lift your mood while giving you a new perspective that can carry over for quite a long time.

So what say you dopers, anyone care for a drink?

I completely agree! I love to watch people make jack asses of themselves while I laugh at them with all my sober friends.

Good times to be had by all. :slight_smile:

Alcohol is a depressant. It’s also a “disinhibitor”, in the sense that it lowers your inhibition. If you’re depressed, alcohol will most likely only help fuel your depression. It sounds, rather, that you are anxious. You might want to talk to a professional about your fears and anxieties and go from there, rather than self medicate.

I’m not anti-alcohol, but it sounds as if this might be a bad path for you.

Sorry for the unsolicited advice.


Yep, you’re talking about alcohol as an anxiolytic, not an anti-depressant.

Alcohol abuse is actually linked with depression.

I used it that way too, then I turned into a raging alcoholic because that was the only way I felt happy and carefree. Had to go into rehab to kick the habit and have been sober for a year and a bit.

Lighten up Francis.

Is it fun for an “every now and then” drinking session with your friends? Of course. Is it a long term solution to depression? No, in the end it will facilitate it. Home Simpson said it best:

“Beer…the solution to, and cause of, all of life’s problems.”

It’s not a good permanent solution because if used excessively it will interfere with your sleep patterns and it’s downhill from there.

A drink or two every day, or a party once in a while is ok in my book, though.

I think you’re very confused about what depression is and what antidepressants do.

There’s no doubt there is a fun and social aspect to drinking. You go out with your friends, drink a few beers, have a few laughs. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

The danger of what you describe is that you are using alchohol as a crutch or an escape. And this can lead to greater and greater levels of drinking. Problem is the next morning, you are just back to being plain ole’ you again (just with a massive headache).

I do like letting the monkey out, but it’s so easy to overdo it. Some people are able not to, many of us aren’t able to have such fine control.

I do love the reduction of inhibition alcohol offers. Not so much in speaking, because i generally don’t mind saying what’s on my mind. Alcohol is the only time I can feel the romance of life and express it without being self-conscious. It is not at all a fix for depression though, especially if you do tend to overdo it. A well documented feature of hangovers is an unfocused guilt and depression.

The problem is, little by little your drinking can escalate, and the fun part gets shorter and the not-so-fun part gets longer. I have a drink now and again, but the buzz is sadly short, and the lethargy (or, God Forbid, a hangover) the following day is sadly long. If you are ever prescribed anti-depressants, you aren’t supposed to drink because some will give you a very bad reaction, or the alcohol will cancel the meds out.

I always found the social aspect more fun than the actual drinking itself. I generally don’t get (that) wasted. But I can be out all night partying with my friends (and my girlfriend too if she doens’t get sleepy). I tend to avoid it when some jerkoff comes around with a round of Jaeger shots. (has any good ever come from that?) IOW, my goal is not to get as fucked up as possible. My goal is to hang out as long as I’m having a good time and then go home without making a jackass of myself.

Honestly, I’ll say that booze is at least for me a mood lifter, but I guess a lot of people would not agree.

The thing is, it really is a depressant so if you have depressive tendencies it could cumulatively be an issue.

But you are really the only judge of whether it affects you adversely or helpfully.

I’d say the people around a drinker are often far better judges than the drinker is, as to whether it affects the person adversely or helpfully.

Aha! Spoken like a true recovered alcoholic. :wink:

Sure it can lift your mood for the moment, but still have the cumulative effect of being a depressant. A lot of people look more relaxed or happy when they drink. But look at those same people at AA meetings or when they start drinking in the mornings or when they can’t quit. Unless they’ve been sober for a while, they look dragged down by life.

Ok I think I may have to explain myself a bit better. I don’t actually consider it an “antidepressant” drug to cure depression. I see it more like an escape from reality. Alcohol loosens me up and I tend to have more fun and so do my friends and most people I know.

Yeah. That’s how you know it’s working. If people didn’t have a good time drinking with their friends, they would never go out drinking with their friends. It’s when the drinking of alcohol becomes more important than the relstionships does it become a problem.

If you’re saying alcohol is good for pushing you over that line to get to know people, then once you’re over that line, you can engage comfortably with these people sober or not; then yeah, no problem there.

OTOH. If the only time you can engage these people is when you’re drunk; you should probably look for alternatives.

I have a coworker. When at work, he’s very withdrawn and keeps to himself. Even when you try to engage him, he only answers in the very bare minimum. (Usually “yes” or “no”).

But man, when we all go to the bar on Fridays after work; he really comes out of his shell. He’s a very funny guy too.

I’ve always secretly thought to myself it’s too bad he can’t bring some of that great personality with him to work. Cuz’ we could certainly use it. (who can’t?)